• Help the Homeless (SoCal)

    Online event

    Hi. Our group sometimes gets involved with helping the homeless. COVID-19 obviously has made this year challenging. My Thanksgiving Day tradition for the past ten years usually involves volunteering. Some members in this group are kind, caring, and compassionate; and have expressed a desire/interest in helping others...so if anyone isn't traveling during Thanksgiving weekend, and feels comfortable going out and doing some outreach, feel free to lmk. I'm planning on driving around and passing out some goodies/items to people on the streets/sidewalks, parks, bus stops, etc... tbh, I personally haven't volunteered much this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and am extremely paranoid...but I think wearing masks and gloves, should mitigate risks. Anyhow, I know this won't appeal to many, and safety & health are a legitimate concern. However, if anyone has a heart to help, feel free to lmk (i.e. contact me directly to better communicate & coordinate). Date, time, and location are flexible. I'm fairly open to drive wherever in SoCal during Thanksgiving weekend, and hand out items to people who are struggling. ____________________ Update: Due to the recent surge/rise in infections and hospitalizations, I don't want to put others at risk...so I might end up doing this alone. If I get sick, I can live/die with that, but I don't want to be the reason why someone else gets infected. If a few people are serious about helping in another manner, I will post some other opportunities to help in our volunteer group, that hopefully will have less exposure. Thank you all for your willingness to help. Keep spreading love, light, and hope to everyone around you. Cheers. p.s. Does anyone know a place that sells toothpaste in bulk or at an economical price? Other than Walmart, Target, drug stores, etc... where would offer the best bargain? Would dollar store / 99 cent stores sell toothpaste for a buck?

  • Another way to help...Black Lives Matter

    Online event

    Hi everyone. How are you all doing? The nightmare pandemic will probably continue for the rest of this year, and possibly disrupt next year too. It might be a while until we can post volunteer events in this group. Many people in this group are caring, friendly, giving, good-hearted, positive, etc., and might be looking for a way to get involved and help. This world seems to be full of anger, animosity, divisiveness, fear, hate, etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h84qIt6o3qw Therefore, the world needs some who are full of compassion, generosity, joy, kindness, light, and love. Some of you would make good role models and be a positive influence. Ergo, if anyone has a heart to help, maybe during this quarantine/pandemic, you can look into mentoring. Others surely can benefit and learn from you. - The following was originally posted in June/July in response to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Sadly, more incidents such as with Jacob Blake and Daniel Prude, might continue to occur, despite public outrage and protests...so maybe the re-post will resonate with one or two group members. - Some emphasize voting. Some recommend supporting black-owned businesses. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/18w-0RBhwBBlXDN9kRV9DVSCAGSCjtHb9K0Pq2YBv18U https://cartophile.net/black-owned-restaurants-in-l-a https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/d/1nWpGTCtGCU8RIgytztA07qMgqIk8J15ze6O_sNcT4E8 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/d/1H1px8mlEl5HVmkA1bZ2KGwKlnNqILKNoFATBW-Pt9jQ https://www.orangecoast.com/features/black-owned-businesses-and-organizations - Another way to help is mentoring. It can be time-consuming and challenging...so totally understandable many might not have the time or interest/desire. That's fine. But if one person or a few people are, then this meetup posting is for you. The coronavirus pandemic will probably stick around for a while, so there's no rush to meet kids immediately. - Based on my limited experience and observation, some kids might be closed, guarded, and standoffish to strangers...but some kids are open, friendly, and receptive to someone who expresses care and concern for them. My personal experience is anecdotal, but I truly believe many good kids are out there. - I could be wrong. I don't think being black/African-American is required. Maybe some non-profits/charities with mentoring programs might prefer a black/African-American adult mentor be paired with a black/African-American child, but some might welcome and accept diverse individuals. If a person is a positive role model, with a fun personalty and kind heart, that probably is more important than their appearance imo. - Another anecdote: Years ago, when dropping off a kid in South Central LA, while walking back to my car, a neighbor (she was African-American) saw me and asked who I was and how I knew him. She wasn't asking in a mean, rude, or invasive tone. My guess is she was genuinely surprised to see an Asian guy with a black/African-American boy in South Central LA, and therefore was curious. After explaining who I was, she actually asked me about mentoring her black son. So this is my reason in thinking some people don't mind if a mentor is of another ethnicity. - Many (myself included) have been pleasantly surprised by the diversity of people at protests. It truly feels like the community is uniting for a common effort. So maybe one or two members in this group would be interested in helping directly with a child/teen. - I myself am unsure on what to do exactly right now. Some charities/non-profits have mentoring programs...which generally have requirements such as time commitments. And of course, many people are busy, and might not have the time/ability to devote a long period of time (such as a year), or 2+ days per month of regular contact with a child/teen. There also are other ways to help that are more flexible. For example, one group has community events in Watts on Saturdays, and adults play & interact with some neighborhood kids (predominantly black community). Obviously this is different from the other things posted in this group, so my expectations are low. I'm not expecting much, but maybe 1 or 2 people will be inspired and motivated from the BLM movement, and want to get involved. But if not, it's okay. - The next section below has some examples of groups, charities, & non-profits that might have opportunities to help kids. Some might have mentoring programs, while some might have events. I don't want this to seem like it's only for black/African-American kids. Many groups listed below seem inclusive, so they should have kids/teens of different backgrounds and ethnicity. If anyone has a heart for helping someone of another demographic, or special needs/disability, or medical/health issue, or something else -- please feel free to lmk. So to recap...it might be a while until regular in-person meetup events happen (because of COVID-19), but in the meanwhile, Meetup allows and recommends "online" meetups...so we can talk. There is no obligation, requirement, or expectation to commit to anything. Even if you're just partially interested, that's fine. We know people are busy and time is limited. If coronavirus ends and people go back to their normal routines/schedule, then we understand giving up time for mentoring might be hard, so it's okay. This is just an idea for now and ergo, nobody needs to be currently 100% committed. Okay, the following are some groups & charities. When I have more time, I'll look for some more. - 100 Black Men of Los Angeles - https://www.100bmla.net A Place Called Home - https://apch.org/get-involved/mentor Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center - https://www.wootencenter.org/volunteers arc experience - https://arc-experience.com/programs/after-school/orange-county Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles - https://bbbsla.org Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County & Inland Empire - https://www.ocbigs.org Black Male Institute - http://blackmaleinstitute.org/projects Brotherhood Crusade - https://brotherhoodcrusade.org/programs-services Children Uniting Nations - http://www.childrenunitingnations.org/how-you-can-help/become-a-mentor Concerned Black Men of Los Angeles - http://cbmla.org/program Covenant House - https://www.covenanthouse.org/homeless-shelters/hollywood-california Flintridge Center - https://www.flintridge.org/what/youthofpromise.htm Heart of Los Angeles - https://www.heartofla.org I Have A Dream Foundation - https://www.ihadla.org/mentor Los Angeles Team Mentoring - https://latm.org/become-a-mentor National CARES Mentoring Movement - http://webvertisepreview.com Orangewood Children’s Foundation - https://orangewoodfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Mentor-Flyer-02.28.19.pdf Peace 4 Kids - https://www.peace4kids.org/volunteer_signup Personal Involvement Center - https://personalinvolvementcenter.com/diva-program P.S. I Love You Foundation - http://psiloveyoufoundation.org Youth Mentoring - https://youthmentoring.org/get-involved/mentor Youth Passageways - https://youthpassageways.org/partners/youth-mentoring-connection - If this quarantine continues and anyone is stuck at home with little to do, the following are insightful and edifying imo. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYCz1ppTjiM – Inside the AC360 doll study https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQACkg5i4AY – Study shows how children view race bias https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPVNJgfDwpw – A Look at Race Relations through a Child's Eyes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OKgUdQF-Fg – Kids speak their minds about race https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFbvBJULVnc – Subconscious racial bias in children https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk_x7s3QiYk – A Girl Like Me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSGftZKrL7M – Toddler has perfect response for cashier who questioned black doll https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf4cea5oObY – Police https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_FE78X-qdY – We Cannot Stay Silent about George Floyd https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUdHIatS36A – Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaD84DTGULo – Police Accountability https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km4uCOAzrbM – The Broken Policing System https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8jUA7JBkF4 – Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwiY4i8xWIc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mcCLm_LwpE – A Class Divided https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8 – 13th https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6LBu9u30WA – Mindless Menace of Violence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDG6Sx9zkKI – O’er the land of the free and home of the brave - Maybe at a Women's March, I saw a sign with a thought-provoking statement...something like "Why does every woman know another woman who was raped, but no man knows a rapist?" The Me Too movement empowers women to speak their truth, and share their experiences, and we as whole (community/society) should listen to them (and believe them or not). When George Floyd and Eric Garner pleaded they couldn't breathe -- they weren't lying or exaggerating. When so many people cry out about police brutality, racial profiling, discrimination, racism, etc., maybe they aren't lying, and we should listen to them (and believe them). https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=racial+profiling https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=white+call+cops+black - Maybe we all can look beyond our own subjective experiences, and consider (and sympathize with) the struggles, oppression, suppression, inequalities, and injustices encountered by others. - Michael Brown John Crawford III Eric Garner Trayvon Martin Tamir Rice Emmett Till ...and many more - Civil Rights Movement - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=civil+rights+movement Segregation - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=desegregation Redlining - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=redlining Reconstruction & Jim Crow - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jim+crow Civil War / Slavery - From Lincoln: "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.” ..."all men are created equal." So maybe all men should be treated equally. ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

  • Cards & Letters for the Troops [Flexible Date, Time, & Location]

    Hi. If you are using the Meetup mobile app on your phone, look down a few lines below and tap the red-colored "Read more" to expand the description. TAP THIS --------- If you are using a computer or laptop/notebook, then you should be fine. Okay, everybody should now be able to see the full description on their screen. Reminder for everyone: If Meetup sends too many emails, then look at the bottom of their email and click Unsubscribe or Manage your settings or account page. Recommended for anyone new to this group or volunteering for the first time: https://www.meetup.com/SoCalVolunteers/events/154414682 ____________________ Hi. Meetup.com used to offer the ability to post ideas and suggestions for meetup events. This is posted as an idea/suggestion for the group. Would anyone want to attend this event and help host? Hosting isn't hard. It involves being a point of contact in case others sign up and want to meet & volunteer together. If your plans/availability change, and you can't attend anymore, that's fine, just let us know and maybe someone else can step up to host, but if not, it's okay and we can cancel this meetup. ____________________ These videos explain what this is about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyGLIjFP0nY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPD1quy5mIw - FAQ Q: Where is the meeting location? A: Well, this is something you can do wherever you want, so it's your choice (home, work, coffee shop, library, a waiting room somewhere, by yourself, with family & friends, etc.). If anyone wants to plan a get-together with other members from this group, feel free to suggest a date, time, and location in the comments section or message me directly and I'll add it to the group calendar. - Q: Where should letters be sent? A: Operation Gratitude ATTN: Letter Writing Program 9409 Owensmouth Avenue Chatsworth, CA 91311 ____________________ One non-profit that collects and distributes letters in their care packages is Operation Gratitude. https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual Some events in this group might be far or not fit your schedule, so this is something you can do wherever and whenever you want, at your convenience. This idea is posted twice a month (Friday night), but you can choose another day/time. If any group members want to do this together, post in the comments section or email me with a date, time, location, etc. Maybe bring some paper, pens, blank cards, and other supplies, and meet at a public place (e.g. coffee shop, restaurant, library, etc.). This also can be done on your own, by yourself. If you have extra time during a lunch break, or when sitting in the waiting room for a doctor, dentist, DMV, or car repair/maintenance, oil change, etc., maybe bring some supplies and a clipboard and write a letter in 10 minutes or so. If your commute home after work is bad, and you don't want to be stuck in traffic, maybe find a nearby coffee shop or bar/restaurant, and write a letter/card while traffic subsides. Everybody is busy and writing cards/letters for our family & friends can be time-consuming and challenging. Totally understandable giving up one's own time and doing this for a stranger might not appeal to everyone. But for anyone who wants to show support and convey encouragement to the brave women & men who are serving (or served), they surely deserve a reminder that our country is indebted and grateful for their service and sacrifice. ____________________ Photo Source: Red Cross & Google Images ____________________ Expressing appreciation and well-wishes to service members and veterans is not limited to the holiday season, but can be year-round. Operation Gratitude is one organization that collects and distributes cards & letters for deployed military personnel, wounded warriors, and veterans. More info & instructions - https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual After making cards or writing letters, you can drop them off or mail them (in one envelope) to: Operation Gratitude ATTN: Letter Writing Program 9409 Owensmouth Avenue Chatsworth, CA 91311 Operation Gratitude collects cards/letters... ...and includes them in care packages for active military, veterans, and wounded warriors. ____________________ Other agencies: http://www.operationwearehere.com/IdeasforSoldiersCardsLetters.html http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes http://www.operationwearehere.com/CaringInsightsMilitaryPersonnelLetters.html https://www.veteransunited.com/network/support-our-troops-write-a-letter http://amillionthanks.org/send_a_letter.php ____________________ Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XR-ORMvv7o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFrLfsX9sYI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybycNOkA6AE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcqpY-OEfmw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB78Sdf863E ____________________ Your time is valuable and I don't want anyone to invest time in writing a letter that later is unacceptable and rejected. They have guidelines, preferences, and requests regarding letters. Sorry, the following is intended to provide guidance and avoid any problems. Thank you. ____________________ https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual - Start with a generic salutation, such as “Dear Hero” or “Dear Brave One.” Express your thanks for their selfless service. Avoid politics completely and religion in excess; however, saying you will pray for them is wonderful. Share a little about yourself: Family, Hobbies, Work, School, Pets, Travel, etc. Talk about life and interests: Sports, Weather, Music, Movies, Food, Books, etc. Please do not include a date or year on your letter. Adults: Include your contact information (mail or email) so the letter recipient can reply. (Recipients may or may not write back; please do not be disappointed if you do not receive a response.) Children’s Letters: Include first names only and do not include addresses (an adult’s address can be used). Can’t find the words? Consider drawing or painting a picture instead; please add a note to kids’ drawings with their age. No glitter or confetti please! Do not put your individual cards or letters in envelopes—they are not needed and create a burden for our letter screeners. Please don’t date your letters, sometimes it can take up to a few months for our Care Packages to be received after they are sent.

  • Write Letters to Cancer Patients [Flexible Date, Time, & Location]

    Hi. If you are using the Meetup mobile app on your phone, look down a few lines below and tap the red-colored "Read more" to expand the description. TAP THIS --------- If you are using a computer or laptop/notebook, then you should be fine. Okay, everybody should now be able to see the full description on their screen. Reminder for everyone: If Meetup sends too many emails, then look at the bottom of their email and click Unsubscribe or Manage your settings or account page. Recommended for anyone new to this group or volunteering for the first time: https://www.meetup.com/SoCalVolunteers/events/154414682 ____________________ Hi. Meetup.com used to offer members & organizers the ability to post ideas and suggestions for meetup events. This is posted as an idea/suggestion for the group. Would anyone want to attend this event and help host? Hosting isn't hard. It involves being a point of contact in case others sign up and want to meet & volunteer together. If your plans/availability change, and you can't attend anymore, that's fine, just let us know and maybe someone else can step up to host, but if not, it's okay and we can cancel this meetup. ____________________ These videos explain what this is about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tun8xulLqsk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuEcGHywXV0 - FAQ Q: Where is the meeting location? A: Well, this is something you can do wherever you want, so it's your choice (home, work, coffee shop, library, a waiting room somewhere, by yourself, with family & friends, etc.). If anyone wants to plan a get-together with other members from this group, feel free to suggest a date, time, and location in the comments section or message me directly and I'll add it to the group calendar. - Q: Where should letters be sent? A: Girls Love Mail 193 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 120 Folsom, CA 95630 ____________________ I try to spread the word about volunteer opportunities and raise awareness about non-profits/charities that do good work. This is from Girls Love Mail. http://www.girlslovemail.com Some events in this group might be far or not fit your schedule, so this is something you can do wherever and whenever you want, at your convenience. This idea is posted once a month (Monday night), but you can choose another day/time. If any group members want to do this together, post in the comments section or email me with a date, time, location, etc... Maybe bring some paper, pens, blank cards, and other supplies, and meet at a public place (e.g. coffee shop, restaurant, library, etc.). This also can be done on your own, by yourself. If you have extra time during a lunch break, or when sitting in the waiting room for a doctor, dentist, DMV, or car repair/maintenance, oil change, etc., maybe bring some supplies and a clipboard and write a letter in 10 minutes or so. If your commute home after work is bad, and you don't want to be stuck in traffic, maybe find a nearby coffee shop or bar/restaurant, and write a letter/card while traffic subsides. Everybody is busy and writing cards/letters for our family & friends can be time-consuming and challenging. Totally understandable giving up one's own time and doing this for a stranger might not appeal to everyone. But for anyone who wants to show support and convey encouragement to someone newly diagnosed with breast cancer, surely that person will be touched and moved by the kindness of a stranger. ____________________ "A hand-written letter has the special power to heal. Girls Love Mail collects your hand-written letters of encouragement, bundles them, and sends them, via the caring staff at cancer centers, to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Every letter is a gift from you to a woman going through a difficult time." "Anyone can write a letter! All it takes is a little of your time and the cost of a postage stamp to help a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer." ____________________ Your time is valuable and I don't want anyone to invest time in writing a letter that later is unacceptable and rejected. They have some guidelines, preferences, and requests regarding letters. Sorry, the following is long and detailed, but is intended to provide guidance and avoid any problems. It's your choice to read it or not. Thank you. ____________________ The following is their FAQ from http://www.girlslovemail.com/faqs - Q: Do I need to hand-write my letter? A: Yes. Remember, you’re doing more than writing a letter, you’re sending a hand-made gift. - Q: How do I begin/end my letter? A: The best way to start your letter is with “Dear Friend” or “Dear Sister.” We encourage you to sign your first name and last initial (Gina M.). For safety, children should NOT include their last name. - Q: What should I write about? A: We encourage you to share your experiences and tell the reader you are thinking of them. Some people share inspirational quotes, things that make them laugh, words of sympathy, or simply what’s going on in their own lives that day. Often it’s not what you said that mattered so much as that you cared enough to say it. - Q: Should I date my letter? A: Please do NOT date your letters or reference any holidays. It may be 6-8 weeks before your letter is handed to a recipient. Avoiding dates and holiday references ensures your letter will still be “fresh” when it arrives. - Q: Is it okay to mention prayer or religion? A: The goal is to help every recipient regardless of race, religion, age, type of treatment, or cancer stage. For this reason, we are unable to hand out letters that contain religious references and other wording that would not be universally welcome. - Q: Should I mention someone who has passed away? A: This one is a little tricky. We want you to share your personal experiences, but it’s hard for someone newly diagnosed to hear about others who have died from cancer or other diseases. You can certainly mention your loved ones without necessarily sharing the outcome. For example, “My grandmother fought breast cancer and she liked to wear a different wig every day.” - Q: Can I write a letter even if I’ve never had cancer? A: Yes. Anyone with a story to share or desire to encourage a woman can write a letter. You don’t have to be a breast cancer survivor to write a letter. We encourage children to include their age or grade level in their letters. - Q: Can I write the same letter many times? A: We ask that you write no more than 5 of the exact same letter. This helps us ensure each cancer center will receive a unique letter for each woman they serve. You can definitely use the same sentiment and style, but please limit identical letters. - Q: Can I write in another language? A: Yes! We especially need letters in Spanish! - Q: Can I include stickers, crafts, etc? A: Unfortunately even small crafts or inserts make closing our envelope very difficult. We ask that you refrain from including extra materials with your letters. - Q: Is a child’s drawing considered a letter? A: Drawings from young children are always welcome. To make them even more special please write the child’s first name and age on the drawing. - Q: Do I need special stationery or envelopes? A: Feel free to use any note card, stationery, postcard, or other paper of your choosing that fits or folds into our GLM program envelopes (4.75” x 6.5”) for bundled delivery to each participating center. Because we use our own envelopes you are welcome to keep any envelopes that may have come with your stationery. - Q: Can I mail multiple letters in one envelope? A: Yes, you can definitely send as many letters in one package as you’d like. We don’t need the original envelopes that may have come with your stationery since we place every letter in a special GLM envelope. - Q: Where do I send my letters? Do you need a return address? A: Girls Love Mail 193 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 120 Folsom, CA 95630 Please include your full name and return address on the mailing envelope. If we don’t have your email address, you can send it to us using the Join Us form or include your email with your letters. We send thank you emails to let you know we received your letters, and can only do that if we have your email address and know who the letter is from. ____________________ Photo Source/Credit: Girls Love Mail ____________________ Guidelines, Tips, and Samples: http://www.girlslovemail.com/what-to-say http://www.girlslovemail.com/what-to-say/writing-tips http://www.girlslovemail.com/what-to-say/sample-letters ____________________ If anyone is interested and available for a long-term commitment with someone undergoing chemo therapy, another group is looking for "Card Angels" http://chemoangels.wixsite.com/chemo-angels-1 http://chemoangels.wixsite.com/chemo-angels-1/angel-pre-app ____________________ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNMKzZHX-J8 If anyone has long hair and is willing to cut and donate some hair; kids and adults could benefit from wigs. Chai Lifetime - http://www.chailifeline.org/program/hair Children With Hair Loss - http://www.childrenwithhairloss.us/donate/donate-your-hair Locks of Love - http://www.locksoflove.org/get-involved Pantene Beautiful Lengths - http://pantene.com/en-us/experience-main-section2/beautiful-lengths Wigs 4 Kids - http://www.wigs4kids.org/donate-hair.html Wigs for Kids - http://www.wigsforkids.org/donate-a-ponytail

  • Cards & Letters for the Troops [Flexible Date, Time, & Location]

    Hi. If you are using the Meetup mobile app on your phone, look down a few lines below and tap the red-colored "Read more" to expand the description. TAP THIS --------- If you are using a computer or laptop/notebook, then you should be fine. Okay, everybody should now be able to see the full description on their screen. Reminder for everyone: If Meetup sends too many emails, then look at the bottom of their email and click Unsubscribe or Manage your settings or account page. Recommended for anyone new to this group or volunteering for the first time: https://www.meetup.com/SoCalVolunteers/events/154414682 ____________________ Hi. Meetup.com used to offer the ability to post ideas and suggestions for meetup events. This is posted as an idea/suggestion for the group. Would anyone want to attend this event and help host? Hosting isn't hard. It involves being a point of contact in case others sign up and want to meet & volunteer together. If your plans/availability change, and you can't attend anymore, that's fine, just let us know and maybe someone else can step up to host, but if not, it's okay and we can cancel this meetup. ____________________ These videos explain what this is about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyGLIjFP0nY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPD1quy5mIw - FAQ Q: Where is the meeting location? A: Well, this is something you can do wherever you want, so it's your choice (home, work, coffee shop, library, a waiting room somewhere, by yourself, with family & friends, etc.). If anyone wants to plan a get-together with other members from this group, feel free to suggest a date, time, and location in the comments section or message me directly and I'll add it to the group calendar. - Q: Where should letters be sent? A: Operation Gratitude ATTN: Letter Writing Program 9409 Owensmouth Avenue Chatsworth, CA 91311 ____________________ One non-profit that collects and distributes letters in their care packages is Operation Gratitude. https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual Some events in this group might be far or not fit your schedule, so this is something you can do wherever and whenever you want, at your convenience. This idea is posted twice a month (Friday night), but you can choose another day/time. If any group members want to do this together, post in the comments section or email me with a date, time, location, etc. Maybe bring some paper, pens, blank cards, and other supplies, and meet at a public place (e.g. coffee shop, restaurant, library, etc.). This also can be done on your own, by yourself. If you have extra time during a lunch break, or when sitting in the waiting room for a doctor, dentist, DMV, or car repair/maintenance, oil change, etc., maybe bring some supplies and a clipboard and write a letter in 10 minutes or so. If your commute home after work is bad, and you don't want to be stuck in traffic, maybe find a nearby coffee shop or bar/restaurant, and write a letter/card while traffic subsides. Everybody is busy and writing cards/letters for our family & friends can be time-consuming and challenging. Totally understandable giving up one's own time and doing this for a stranger might not appeal to everyone. But for anyone who wants to show support and convey encouragement to the brave women & men who are serving (or served), they surely deserve a reminder that our country is indebted and grateful for their service and sacrifice. ____________________ Photo Source: Red Cross & Google Images ____________________ Expressing appreciation and well-wishes to service members and veterans is not limited to the holiday season, but can be year-round. Operation Gratitude is one organization that collects and distributes cards & letters for deployed military personnel, wounded warriors, and veterans. More info & instructions - https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual After making cards or writing letters, you can drop them off or mail them (in one envelope) to: Operation Gratitude ATTN: Letter Writing Program 9409 Owensmouth Avenue Chatsworth, CA 91311 Operation Gratitude collects cards/letters... ...and includes them in care packages for active military, veterans, and wounded warriors. ____________________ Other agencies: http://www.operationwearehere.com/IdeasforSoldiersCardsLetters.html http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes http://www.operationwearehere.com/CaringInsightsMilitaryPersonnelLetters.html https://www.veteransunited.com/network/support-our-troops-write-a-letter http://amillionthanks.org/send_a_letter.php ____________________ Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XR-ORMvv7o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFrLfsX9sYI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybycNOkA6AE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcqpY-OEfmw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB78Sdf863E ____________________ Your time is valuable and I don't want anyone to invest time in writing a letter that later is unacceptable and rejected. They have guidelines, preferences, and requests regarding letters. Sorry, the following is intended to provide guidance and avoid any problems. Thank you. ____________________ https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual - Start with a generic salutation, such as “Dear Hero” or “Dear Brave One.” Express your thanks for their selfless service. Avoid politics completely and religion in excess; however, saying you will pray for them is wonderful. Share a little about yourself: Family, Hobbies, Work, School, Pets, Travel, etc. Talk about life and interests: Sports, Weather, Music, Movies, Food, Books, etc. Please do not include a date or year on your letter. Adults: Include your contact information (mail or email) so the letter recipient can reply. (Recipients may or may not write back; please do not be disappointed if you do not receive a response.) Children’s Letters: Include first names only and do not include addresses (an adult’s address can be used). Can’t find the words? Consider drawing or painting a picture instead; please add a note to kids’ drawings with their age. No glitter or confetti please! Do not put your individual cards or letters in envelopes—they are not needed and create a burden for our letter screeners. Please don’t date your letters, sometimes it can take up to a few months for our Care Packages to be received after they are sent.

  • FAQ, How to Reduce Emails, and Info for New Members & Parents

    Hi. Whether you're new to the group or thinking about possibly joining an event, this is intended to help explain our group and events. Everybody is busy and your time is valuable. Succinct writing is not my forte, but I'll try to present relevant and applicable info to help everyone better understand this group, and some other aspects to improve your experience and help you get involved. My hope is everybody has a positive experience from volunteering and can meet some new people (and make new friends). Thank you. Some examples of topics that will be updated and further clarified include: • reminder and elaboration on how to reduce meetup emails • what is meant by "no host" and how can people still get involved and participate • how to find other volunteer opportunities which may be geographically closer • and maybe a few other small details to better improve everyone's experience (calendar, app, hosting) • mobile app links, elaborate why descriptions are detailed, photos, holidays/weather/unexpected changes, rescheduling, etc. I've been very busy...but will try to find time soon. This is a priority for me. Thank you. Why are there so many emails? I'm sorry if anyone receives a myriad of emails. Meetup removed the option for organizers to disable reminders. The daily emails can get annoying and overwhelming. Changing email preferences takes a few seconds. Trust me, everyone should do this. Go to https://www.meetup.com/account/comm/SoCalVolunteers ...and set "Meetup reminders" to "Never" Feel free to change other email settings to reduce emails. http://www.meetup.com/SoCalVolunteers/events/224140873 For anyone using the Meetup app, in the lower right corner, click "Profile" ...then in the top right corner, tap the 3 vertical dots and then "Manage notifications" and then "Email Updates" and scroll down to tap SoCal Volunteers United and set "Meetup reminders" to "Never" http://www.meetup.com/help/article/2260725 http://www.meetup.com/help/article/464969 http://www.meetup.com/help/article/902197 http://www.meetup.com/help/article/1751720 ____________________________________________ What does "no host" mean? Why are there so many events? ____________________________________________ Info for Parents https://www.meetup.com/SoCalVolunteers/events/233300533 ____________________________________________ Addendum for Women in this Group I'll have time tomorrow to write something... http://www.meetup.com/help/article/1651875 http://www.meetup.com/help/article/898622 ____________________________________________ Intro This group is different. I'm comfortable volunteering alone, but understandably, some may prefer events with many people. Large get-togethers with several people are rare in this group, so honestly, other groups can better introduce you to new people. (http://www.meetup.com/find) If meeting people is a top priority, try joining other groups. (http://www.meetup.com/find) This group is not for everyone. It's disorganized, fragmented, and chaotic. Plus, I'm the worst or second-worst organizer on Meetup. :) A few people have complained and criticized (e.g. "too many meetups," "nobody else signs up," "everything is too far," "not enough people go" etc.).. C'est la vie. Nevertheless, if anyone is sincere about volunteering, some "suggestions" are posted. Most have descriptions and instructions on how to participate. And some show photos of what to expect. People live all over: Inland Empire, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, South Bay, Westside, etc. Finding volunteer events for everyone is challenging. If what is posted doesn't interest you, is too far, or doesn't fit your schedule—try searching on Google or other sites. Even though there may not be a host who coordinates and manages members meeting one another, other volunteers (outside Meetup) should be there too. If other members don't sign up, people who volunteer at these events tend to be friendly, positive, and welcoming. I've gone to some events on my own and many people were cordial, so that's why I know this is a great way to meet quality people. __________________________________________________ Do you know anyone who passionately raves about how yoga, Crossfit, vegetarian/vegan diet, or something else is life changing? Well, hopefully this doesn't sound preachy or like an aggressive sales pitch. If you join(ed) this group, you probably are open to helping. If so, consider volunteering at least once. Maybe you won't like it. But maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised. You can decide if the proverb/adage is true, "It's better to give than to receive." __________________________________________________ Despite horrible things happening in the world, people can make a difference. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btiDHCuWyBA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc_NfI5_Ikk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMYrIi_Mt8A http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmEWsU-C1a8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7STf81P5lYE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GT774fTkpA "faith in humanity" (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22faith+in+humanity%22) "acts of kindness" (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22acts+of+kindness%22) "real life heroes" (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22real+life+heroes%22) __________________________________________________ http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/top-7-regrets-people-who-are-dying.html http://addicted2success.com/success-advice/infographic-the-top-10-regrets-in-life-by-those-about-to-die http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying http://9gag.com/gag/aBKLwZ2/here-are-the-top-37-things-dying-people-say-they-regret-learn-from-it-before-it-s-too-late __________________________________________________ "This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good." __________________________________________________ https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nwAYpLVyeFU https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1h_pVvTAtR0 __________________________________________________ For any members who were in the previous group from 2010 - 2013: past photos are at https://www.facebook.com/socalvolunteers/photos_stream?ref=hl&tab=photos_albums __________________________________________________ This group is not affiliated with, associated with, nor representative of any organization or charity—but acts as a messenger or bridge to introduce & connect people to volunteering. If anyone participates, that's cool; and if anyone doesn't, that's fine too. No guilt, pressure, obligation, or expectation. Anyone can obtain membership to a fitness club/gym or library. Some gym members may work out & exercise often, and some may never/rarely. Some library members may borrow books frequently, and some may never/rarely. Similarly, this group is a resource anyone can freely use or not. Most announcement & reminder emails are turned off. Maybe more members would participate if notified about every event; however, bombarding people with emails will not happen in this group. If interested, check the site yearly, monthly, weekly, or whenever. __________________________________________________ For the men: this is not a dating or singles group. Women are often contacted, complimented, hit on, and asked out—so please do not harass any ladies in this group. Thank you. For the women: most events are during the day; however, a few occur at night. If so, after volunteering, please don't walk/leave alone. Yes, you all are strong & independent; nevertheless, please allow someone to escort you to your vehicle. Thank you. __________________________________________________ Meetup sometimes sends superfluous emails. Reduce emails by going to the top right of the page and click on "My profile" and then in the drop down menu, click on "Email and Notifications." Most Meetup emails can be disabled via http://www.meetup.com/account/comm For "Other Meetup Email," unchecking those boxes should help. http://help.meetup.com/customer/portal/articles/464969-edit-my-email-settings __________________________________________________ For anyone in Los Angeles County (e.g. Baldwin Park, Bellflower, Carson, Chatsworth, Claremont, Compton, Gardena, Hacienda Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, Hollywood, Inglewood, La Puente, Lancaster, Monterey Park, Palmdale, Pasadena, Pomona, Redondo Beach, Rosemead, Rowland Heights, Santa Monica, South Gate, Venice, or Whittier), these food distributions (http://www.lafoodbank.org/pantry-locator.aspx) may need volunteers. For anyone in Orange County, maybe these food distributions (http://www.wastenotoc.org/#!providing-food-resources/c22p0) could use volunteers. __________________________________________________ Gas is expensive, so here are activities that can be done at home: Make a scarf, hat, or cool-tie (http://opgrat.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/scarf-hat-cool-tie-project-details-materials-size-patterns) for the troops. Write thank you letters & cards (https://www.operationgratitude.com/writeletters/) to the troops, veterans, or military families. Answer questions on an online forum (message board) for the Trevor Project (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/volunteer) ("ask Trevor"). __________________________________________________ More volunteer opportunities can be found at: http://www.serve.gov www.laworks.com (http://www.laworks.com/HOC__Volunteer_Opportunity_Calendar_Page) http://www.volunteermatch.org http://calendar.bigsunday.org http://www.californiavolunteers.org http://www.volunteerlosangeles.com www.handsoninlandempire.org (http://www.handsoninlandempire.org/HOC__Volunteer_Opportunity_Calendar_Page) __________________________________________________ For anyone who wants to help animals: Cats - http://www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/volunteering-with-cats Dogs - http://www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/volunteering-with-dogs Shelters - http://www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/search? http://www.ocpetinfo.com/lost/shelters

  • Another way to help...Black Lives Matter

    Online event

    Hi everyone. How are you all doing? The nightmare pandemic will probably continue for the rest of this year, and possibly disrupt next year too. It might be a while until we can post volunteer events in this group. Many people in this group are caring, friendly, giving, good-hearted, positive, etc., and might be looking for a way to get involved and help. This world seems to be full of anger, animosity, divisiveness, fear, hate, etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h84qIt6o3qw Therefore, the world needs some who are full of compassion, generosity, joy, kindness, light, and love. Some of you would make good role models and be a positive influence. Ergo, if anyone has a heart to help, maybe during this quarantine/pandemic, you can look into mentoring. Others surely can benefit and learn from you. - The following was originally posted in June/July in response to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Sadly, more incidents such as with Jacob Blake and Daniel Prude, might continue to occur, despite public outrage and protests...so maybe the re-post will resonate with one or two group members. - Some emphasize voting. Some recommend supporting black-owned businesses. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/18w-0RBhwBBlXDN9kRV9DVSCAGSCjtHb9K0Pq2YBv18U https://cartophile.net/black-owned-restaurants-in-l-a https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/d/1nWpGTCtGCU8RIgytztA07qMgqIk8J15ze6O_sNcT4E8 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/d/1H1px8mlEl5HVmkA1bZ2KGwKlnNqILKNoFATBW-Pt9jQ https://www.orangecoast.com/features/black-owned-businesses-and-organizations - Another way to help is mentoring. It can be time-consuming and challenging...so totally understandable many might not have the time or interest/desire. That's fine. But if one person or a few people are, then this meetup posting is for you. The coronavirus pandemic will probably stick around for a while, so there's no rush to meet kids immediately. - Based on my limited experience and observation, some kids might be closed, guarded, and standoffish to strangers...but some kids are open, friendly, and receptive to someone who expresses care and concern for them. My personal experience is anecdotal, but I truly believe many good kids are out there. - I could be wrong. I don't think being black/African-American is required. Maybe some non-profits/charities with mentoring programs might prefer a black/African-American adult mentor be paired with a black/African-American child, but some might welcome and accept diverse individuals. If a person is a positive role model, with a fun personalty and kind heart, that probably is more important than their appearance imo. - Another anecdote: Years ago, when dropping off a kid in South Central LA, while walking back to my car, a neighbor (she was African-American) saw me and asked who I was and how I knew him. She wasn't asking in a mean, rude, or invasive tone. My guess is she was genuinely surprised to see an Asian guy with a black/African-American boy in South Central LA, and therefore was curious. After explaining who I was, she actually asked me about mentoring her black son. So this is my reason in thinking some people don't mind if a mentor is of another ethnicity. - Many (myself included) have been pleasantly surprised by the diversity of people at protests. It truly feels like the community is uniting for a common effort. So maybe one or two members in this group would be interested in helping directly with a child/teen. - I myself am unsure on what to do exactly right now. Some charities/non-profits have mentoring programs...which generally have requirements such as time commitments. And of course, many people are busy, and might not have the time/ability to devote a long period of time (such as a year), or 2+ days per month of regular contact with a child/teen. There also are other ways to help that are more flexible. For example, one group has community events in Watts on Saturdays, and adults play & interact with some neighborhood kids (predominantly black community). Obviously this is different from the other things posted in this group, so my expectations are low. I'm not expecting much, but maybe 1 or 2 people will be inspired and motivated from the BLM movement, and want to get involved. But if not, it's okay. - The next section below has some examples of groups, charities, & non-profits that might have opportunities to help kids. Some might have mentoring programs, while some might have events. I don't want this to seem like it's only for black/African-American kids. Many groups listed below seem inclusive, so they should have kids/teens of different backgrounds and ethnicity. If anyone has a heart for helping someone of another demographic, or special needs/disability, or medical/health issue, or something else -- please feel free to lmk. So to recap...it might be a while until regular in-person meetup events happen (because of COVID-19), but in the meanwhile, Meetup allows and recommends "online" meetups...so we can talk. There is no obligation, requirement, or expectation to commit to anything. Even if you're just partially interested, that's fine. We know people are busy and time is limited. If coronavirus ends and people go back to their normal routines/schedule, then we understand giving up time for mentoring might be hard, so it's okay. This is just an idea for now and ergo, nobody needs to be currently 100% committed. Okay, the following are some groups & charities. When I have more time, I'll look for some more. - 100 Black Men of Los Angeles - https://www.100bmla.net A Place Called Home - https://apch.org/get-involved/mentor Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center - https://www.wootencenter.org/volunteers arc experience - https://arc-experience.com/programs/after-school/orange-county Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles - https://bbbsla.org Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County & Inland Empire - https://www.ocbigs.org Black Male Institute - http://blackmaleinstitute.org/projects Brotherhood Crusade - https://brotherhoodcrusade.org/programs-services Children Uniting Nations - http://www.childrenunitingnations.org/how-you-can-help/become-a-mentor Concerned Black Men of Los Angeles - http://cbmla.org/program Covenant House - https://www.covenanthouse.org/homeless-shelters/hollywood-california Flintridge Center - https://www.flintridge.org/what/youthofpromise.htm Heart of Los Angeles - https://www.heartofla.org I Have A Dream Foundation - https://www.ihadla.org/mentor Los Angeles Team Mentoring - https://latm.org/become-a-mentor National CARES Mentoring Movement - http://webvertisepreview.com Orangewood Children’s Foundation - https://orangewoodfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Mentor-Flyer-02.28.19.pdf Peace 4 Kids - https://www.peace4kids.org/volunteer_signup Personal Involvement Center - https://personalinvolvementcenter.com/diva-program P.S. I Love You Foundation - http://psiloveyoufoundation.org Youth Mentoring - https://youthmentoring.org/get-involved/mentor Youth Passageways - https://youthpassageways.org/partners/youth-mentoring-connection - If this quarantine continues and anyone is stuck at home with little to do, the following are insightful and edifying imo. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYCz1ppTjiM – Inside the AC360 doll study https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQACkg5i4AY – Study shows how children view race bias https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPVNJgfDwpw – A Look at Race Relations through a Child's Eyes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OKgUdQF-Fg – Kids speak their minds about race https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFbvBJULVnc – Subconscious racial bias in children https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk_x7s3QiYk – A Girl Like Me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSGftZKrL7M – Toddler has perfect response for cashier who questioned black doll https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf4cea5oObY – Police https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_FE78X-qdY – We Cannot Stay Silent about George Floyd https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUdHIatS36A – Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaD84DTGULo – Police Accountability https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km4uCOAzrbM – The Broken Policing System https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8jUA7JBkF4 – Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwiY4i8xWIc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mcCLm_LwpE – A Class Divided https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8 – 13th https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6LBu9u30WA – Mindless Menace of Violence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDG6Sx9zkKI – O’er the land of the free and home of the brave - Maybe at a Women's March, I saw a sign with a thought-provoking statement...something like "Why does every woman know another woman who was raped, but no man knows a rapist?" The Me Too movement empowers women to speak their truth, and share their experiences, and we as whole (community/society) should listen to them (and believe them or not). When George Floyd and Eric Garner pleaded they couldn't breathe -- they weren't lying or exaggerating. When so many people cry out about police brutality, racial profiling, discrimination, racism, etc., maybe they aren't lying, and we should listen to them (and believe them). https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=racial+profiling https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=white+call+cops+black - Maybe we all can look beyond our own subjective experiences, and consider (and sympathize with) the struggles, oppression, suppression, inequalities, and injustices encountered by others. - Michael Brown John Crawford III Eric Garner Trayvon Martin Tamir Rice Emmett Till ...and many more - Civil Rights Movement - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=civil+rights+movement Segregation - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=desegregation Redlining - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=redlining Reconstruction & Jim Crow - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jim+crow Civil War / Slavery - From Lincoln: "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.” ..."all men are created equal." So maybe all men should be treated equally. ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

  • Cards & Letters for the Troops [Flexible Date, Time, & Location]

    Hi. If you are using the Meetup mobile app on your phone, look down a few lines below and tap the red-colored "Read more" to expand the description. TAP THIS --------- If you are using a computer or laptop/notebook, then you should be fine. Okay, everybody should now be able to see the full description on their screen. Reminder for everyone: If Meetup sends too many emails, then look at the bottom of their email and click Unsubscribe or Manage your settings or account page. Recommended for anyone new to this group or volunteering for the first time: https://www.meetup.com/SoCalVolunteers/events/154414682 ____________________ Hi. Meetup.com used to offer the ability to post ideas and suggestions for meetup events. This is posted as an idea/suggestion for the group. Would anyone want to attend this event and help host? Hosting isn't hard. It involves being a point of contact in case others sign up and want to meet & volunteer together. If your plans/availability change, and you can't attend anymore, that's fine, just let us know and maybe someone else can step up to host, but if not, it's okay and we can cancel this meetup. ____________________ These videos explain what this is about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyGLIjFP0nY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPD1quy5mIw - FAQ Q: Where is the meeting location? A: Well, this is something you can do wherever you want, so it's your choice (home, work, coffee shop, library, a waiting room somewhere, by yourself, with family & friends, etc.). If anyone wants to plan a get-together with other members from this group, feel free to suggest a date, time, and location in the comments section or message me directly and I'll add it to the group calendar. - Q: Where should letters be sent? A: Operation Gratitude ATTN: Letter Writing Program 9409 Owensmouth Avenue Chatsworth, CA 91311 ____________________ One non-profit that collects and distributes letters in their care packages is Operation Gratitude. https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual Some events in this group might be far or not fit your schedule, so this is something you can do wherever and whenever you want, at your convenience. This idea is posted twice a month (Friday night), but you can choose another day/time. If any group members want to do this together, post in the comments section or email me with a date, time, location, etc. Maybe bring some paper, pens, blank cards, and other supplies, and meet at a public place (e.g. coffee shop, restaurant, library, etc.). This also can be done on your own, by yourself. If you have extra time during a lunch break, or when sitting in the waiting room for a doctor, dentist, DMV, or car repair/maintenance, oil change, etc., maybe bring some supplies and a clipboard and write a letter in 10 minutes or so. If your commute home after work is bad, and you don't want to be stuck in traffic, maybe find a nearby coffee shop or bar/restaurant, and write a letter/card while traffic subsides. Everybody is busy and writing cards/letters for our family & friends can be time-consuming and challenging. Totally understandable giving up one's own time and doing this for a stranger might not appeal to everyone. But for anyone who wants to show support and convey encouragement to the brave women & men who are serving (or served), they surely deserve a reminder that our country is indebted and grateful for their service and sacrifice. ____________________ Photo Source: Red Cross & Google Images ____________________ Expressing appreciation and well-wishes to service members and veterans is not limited to the holiday season, but can be year-round. Operation Gratitude is one organization that collects and distributes cards & letters for deployed military personnel, wounded warriors, and veterans. More info & instructions - https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual After making cards or writing letters, you can drop them off or mail them (in one envelope) to: Operation Gratitude ATTN: Letter Writing Program 9409 Owensmouth Avenue Chatsworth, CA 91311 Operation Gratitude collects cards/letters... ...and includes them in care packages for active military, veterans, and wounded warriors. ____________________ Other agencies: http://www.operationwearehere.com/IdeasforSoldiersCardsLetters.html http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes http://www.operationwearehere.com/CaringInsightsMilitaryPersonnelLetters.html https://www.veteransunited.com/network/support-our-troops-write-a-letter http://amillionthanks.org/send_a_letter.php ____________________ Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XR-ORMvv7o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFrLfsX9sYI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybycNOkA6AE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcqpY-OEfmw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB78Sdf863E ____________________ Your time is valuable and I don't want anyone to invest time in writing a letter that later is unacceptable and rejected. They have guidelines, preferences, and requests regarding letters. Sorry, the following is intended to provide guidance and avoid any problems. Thank you. ____________________ https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual - Start with a generic salutation, such as “Dear Hero” or “Dear Brave One.” Express your thanks for their selfless service. Avoid politics completely and religion in excess; however, saying you will pray for them is wonderful. Share a little about yourself: Family, Hobbies, Work, School, Pets, Travel, etc. Talk about life and interests: Sports, Weather, Music, Movies, Food, Books, etc. Please do not include a date or year on your letter. Adults: Include your contact information (mail or email) so the letter recipient can reply. (Recipients may or may not write back; please do not be disappointed if you do not receive a response.) Children’s Letters: Include first names only and do not include addresses (an adult’s address can be used). Can’t find the words? Consider drawing or painting a picture instead; please add a note to kids’ drawings with their age. No glitter or confetti please! Do not put your individual cards or letters in envelopes—they are not needed and create a burden for our letter screeners. Please don’t date your letters, sometimes it can take up to a few months for our Care Packages to be received after they are sent.

  • Write Letters to Cancer Patients [Flexible Date, Time, & Location]

    Hi. If you are using the Meetup mobile app on your phone, look down a few lines below and tap the red-colored "Read more" to expand the description. TAP THIS --------- If you are using a computer or laptop/notebook, then you should be fine. Okay, everybody should now be able to see the full description on their screen. Reminder for everyone: If Meetup sends too many emails, then look at the bottom of their email and click Unsubscribe or Manage your settings or account page. Recommended for anyone new to this group or volunteering for the first time: https://www.meetup.com/SoCalVolunteers/events/154414682 ____________________ Hi. Meetup.com used to offer members & organizers the ability to post ideas and suggestions for meetup events. This is posted as an idea/suggestion for the group. Would anyone want to attend this event and help host? Hosting isn't hard. It involves being a point of contact in case others sign up and want to meet & volunteer together. If your plans/availability change, and you can't attend anymore, that's fine, just let us know and maybe someone else can step up to host, but if not, it's okay and we can cancel this meetup. ____________________ These videos explain what this is about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tun8xulLqsk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuEcGHywXV0 - FAQ Q: Where is the meeting location? A: Well, this is something you can do wherever you want, so it's your choice (home, work, coffee shop, library, a waiting room somewhere, by yourself, with family & friends, etc.). If anyone wants to plan a get-together with other members from this group, feel free to suggest a date, time, and location in the comments section or message me directly and I'll add it to the group calendar. - Q: Where should letters be sent? A: Girls Love Mail 193 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 120 Folsom, CA 95630 ____________________ I try to spread the word about volunteer opportunities and raise awareness about non-profits/charities that do good work. This is from Girls Love Mail. http://www.girlslovemail.com Some events in this group might be far or not fit your schedule, so this is something you can do wherever and whenever you want, at your convenience. This idea is posted once a month (Monday night), but you can choose another day/time. If any group members want to do this together, post in the comments section or email me with a date, time, location, etc... Maybe bring some paper, pens, blank cards, and other supplies, and meet at a public place (e.g. coffee shop, restaurant, library, etc.). This also can be done on your own, by yourself. If you have extra time during a lunch break, or when sitting in the waiting room for a doctor, dentist, DMV, or car repair/maintenance, oil change, etc., maybe bring some supplies and a clipboard and write a letter in 10 minutes or so. If your commute home after work is bad, and you don't want to be stuck in traffic, maybe find a nearby coffee shop or bar/restaurant, and write a letter/card while traffic subsides. Everybody is busy and writing cards/letters for our family & friends can be time-consuming and challenging. Totally understandable giving up one's own time and doing this for a stranger might not appeal to everyone. But for anyone who wants to show support and convey encouragement to someone newly diagnosed with breast cancer, surely that person will be touched and moved by the kindness of a stranger. ____________________ "A hand-written letter has the special power to heal. Girls Love Mail collects your hand-written letters of encouragement, bundles them, and sends them, via the caring staff at cancer centers, to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Every letter is a gift from you to a woman going through a difficult time." "Anyone can write a letter! All it takes is a little of your time and the cost of a postage stamp to help a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer." ____________________ Your time is valuable and I don't want anyone to invest time in writing a letter that later is unacceptable and rejected. They have some guidelines, preferences, and requests regarding letters. Sorry, the following is long and detailed, but is intended to provide guidance and avoid any problems. It's your choice to read it or not. Thank you. ____________________ The following is their FAQ from http://www.girlslovemail.com/faqs - Q: Do I need to hand-write my letter? A: Yes. Remember, you’re doing more than writing a letter, you’re sending a hand-made gift. - Q: How do I begin/end my letter? A: The best way to start your letter is with “Dear Friend” or “Dear Sister.” We encourage you to sign your first name and last initial (Gina M.). For safety, children should NOT include their last name. - Q: What should I write about? A: We encourage you to share your experiences and tell the reader you are thinking of them. Some people share inspirational quotes, things that make them laugh, words of sympathy, or simply what’s going on in their own lives that day. Often it’s not what you said that mattered so much as that you cared enough to say it. - Q: Should I date my letter? A: Please do NOT date your letters or reference any holidays. It may be 6-8 weeks before your letter is handed to a recipient. Avoiding dates and holiday references ensures your letter will still be “fresh” when it arrives. - Q: Is it okay to mention prayer or religion? A: The goal is to help every recipient regardless of race, religion, age, type of treatment, or cancer stage. For this reason, we are unable to hand out letters that contain religious references and other wording that would not be universally welcome. - Q: Should I mention someone who has passed away? A: This one is a little tricky. We want you to share your personal experiences, but it’s hard for someone newly diagnosed to hear about others who have died from cancer or other diseases. You can certainly mention your loved ones without necessarily sharing the outcome. For example, “My grandmother fought breast cancer and she liked to wear a different wig every day.” - Q: Can I write a letter even if I’ve never had cancer? A: Yes. Anyone with a story to share or desire to encourage a woman can write a letter. You don’t have to be a breast cancer survivor to write a letter. We encourage children to include their age or grade level in their letters. - Q: Can I write the same letter many times? A: We ask that you write no more than 5 of the exact same letter. This helps us ensure each cancer center will receive a unique letter for each woman they serve. You can definitely use the same sentiment and style, but please limit identical letters. - Q: Can I write in another language? A: Yes! We especially need letters in Spanish! - Q: Can I include stickers, crafts, etc? A: Unfortunately even small crafts or inserts make closing our envelope very difficult. We ask that you refrain from including extra materials with your letters. - Q: Is a child’s drawing considered a letter? A: Drawings from young children are always welcome. To make them even more special please write the child’s first name and age on the drawing. - Q: Do I need special stationery or envelopes? A: Feel free to use any note card, stationery, postcard, or other paper of your choosing that fits or folds into our GLM program envelopes (4.75” x 6.5”) for bundled delivery to each participating center. Because we use our own envelopes you are welcome to keep any envelopes that may have come with your stationery. - Q: Can I mail multiple letters in one envelope? A: Yes, you can definitely send as many letters in one package as you’d like. We don’t need the original envelopes that may have come with your stationery since we place every letter in a special GLM envelope. - Q: Where do I send my letters? Do you need a return address? A: Girls Love Mail 193 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 120 Folsom, CA 95630 Please include your full name and return address on the mailing envelope. If we don’t have your email address, you can send it to us using the Join Us form or include your email with your letters. We send thank you emails to let you know we received your letters, and can only do that if we have your email address and know who the letter is from. ____________________ Photo Source/Credit: Girls Love Mail ____________________ Guidelines, Tips, and Samples: http://www.girlslovemail.com/what-to-say http://www.girlslovemail.com/what-to-say/writing-tips http://www.girlslovemail.com/what-to-say/sample-letters ____________________ If anyone is interested and available for a long-term commitment with someone undergoing chemo therapy, another group is looking for "Card Angels" http://chemoangels.wixsite.com/chemo-angels-1 http://chemoangels.wixsite.com/chemo-angels-1/angel-pre-app ____________________ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNMKzZHX-J8 If anyone has long hair and is willing to cut and donate some hair; kids and adults could benefit from wigs. Chai Lifetime - http://www.chailifeline.org/program/hair Children With Hair Loss - http://www.childrenwithhairloss.us/donate/donate-your-hair Locks of Love - http://www.locksoflove.org/get-involved Pantene Beautiful Lengths - http://pantene.com/en-us/experience-main-section2/beautiful-lengths Wigs 4 Kids - http://www.wigs4kids.org/donate-hair.html Wigs for Kids - http://www.wigsforkids.org/donate-a-ponytail

  • Cards & Letters for the Troops [Flexible Date, Time, & Location]

    Hi. If you are using the Meetup mobile app on your phone, look down a few lines below and tap the red-colored "Read more" to expand the description. TAP THIS --------- If you are using a computer or laptop/notebook, then you should be fine. Okay, everybody should now be able to see the full description on their screen. Reminder for everyone: If Meetup sends too many emails, then look at the bottom of their email and click Unsubscribe or Manage your settings or account page. Recommended for anyone new to this group or volunteering for the first time: https://www.meetup.com/SoCalVolunteers/events/154414682 ____________________ Hi. Meetup.com used to offer the ability to post ideas and suggestions for meetup events. This is posted as an idea/suggestion for the group. Would anyone want to attend this event and help host? Hosting isn't hard. It involves being a point of contact in case others sign up and want to meet & volunteer together. If your plans/availability change, and you can't attend anymore, that's fine, just let us know and maybe someone else can step up to host, but if not, it's okay and we can cancel this meetup. ____________________ These videos explain what this is about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyGLIjFP0nY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPD1quy5mIw - FAQ Q: Where is the meeting location? A: Well, this is something you can do wherever you want, so it's your choice (home, work, coffee shop, library, a waiting room somewhere, by yourself, with family & friends, etc.). If anyone wants to plan a get-together with other members from this group, feel free to suggest a date, time, and location in the comments section or message me directly and I'll add it to the group calendar. - Q: Where should letters be sent? A: Operation Gratitude ATTN: Letter Writing Program 9409 Owensmouth Avenue Chatsworth, CA 91311 ____________________ One non-profit that collects and distributes letters in their care packages is Operation Gratitude. https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual Some events in this group might be far or not fit your schedule, so this is something you can do wherever and whenever you want, at your convenience. This idea is posted twice a month (Friday night), but you can choose another day/time. If any group members want to do this together, post in the comments section or email me with a date, time, location, etc. Maybe bring some paper, pens, blank cards, and other supplies, and meet at a public place (e.g. coffee shop, restaurant, library, etc.). This also can be done on your own, by yourself. If you have extra time during a lunch break, or when sitting in the waiting room for a doctor, dentist, DMV, or car repair/maintenance, oil change, etc., maybe bring some supplies and a clipboard and write a letter in 10 minutes or so. If your commute home after work is bad, and you don't want to be stuck in traffic, maybe find a nearby coffee shop or bar/restaurant, and write a letter/card while traffic subsides. Everybody is busy and writing cards/letters for our family & friends can be time-consuming and challenging. Totally understandable giving up one's own time and doing this for a stranger might not appeal to everyone. But for anyone who wants to show support and convey encouragement to the brave women & men who are serving (or served), they surely deserve a reminder that our country is indebted and grateful for their service and sacrifice. ____________________ Photo Source: Red Cross & Google Images ____________________ Expressing appreciation and well-wishes to service members and veterans is not limited to the holiday season, but can be year-round. Operation Gratitude is one organization that collects and distributes cards & letters for deployed military personnel, wounded warriors, and veterans. More info & instructions - https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual After making cards or writing letters, you can drop them off or mail them (in one envelope) to: Operation Gratitude ATTN: Letter Writing Program 9409 Owensmouth Avenue Chatsworth, CA 91311 Operation Gratitude collects cards/letters... ...and includes them in care packages for active military, veterans, and wounded warriors. ____________________ Other agencies: http://www.operationwearehere.com/IdeasforSoldiersCardsLetters.html http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes http://www.operationwearehere.com/CaringInsightsMilitaryPersonnelLetters.html https://www.veteransunited.com/network/support-our-troops-write-a-letter http://amillionthanks.org/send_a_letter.php ____________________ Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XR-ORMvv7o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFrLfsX9sYI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybycNOkA6AE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcqpY-OEfmw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB78Sdf863E ____________________ Your time is valuable and I don't want anyone to invest time in writing a letter that later is unacceptable and rejected. They have guidelines, preferences, and requests regarding letters. Sorry, the following is intended to provide guidance and avoid any problems. Thank you. ____________________ https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual/write-letters-virtual - Start with a generic salutation, such as “Dear Hero” or “Dear Brave One.” Express your thanks for their selfless service. Avoid politics completely and religion in excess; however, saying you will pray for them is wonderful. Share a little about yourself: Family, Hobbies, Work, School, Pets, Travel, etc. Talk about life and interests: Sports, Weather, Music, Movies, Food, Books, etc. Please do not include a date or year on your letter. Adults: Include your contact information (mail or email) so the letter recipient can reply. (Recipients may or may not write back; please do not be disappointed if you do not receive a response.) Children’s Letters: Include first names only and do not include addresses (an adult’s address can be used). Can’t find the words? Consider drawing or painting a picture instead; please add a note to kids’ drawings with their age. No glitter or confetti please! Do not put your individual cards or letters in envelopes—they are not needed and create a burden for our letter screeners. Please don’t date your letters, sometimes it can take up to a few months for our Care Packages to be received after they are sent.